Technology and Learning: EIDT 2001-1

Week 1 – Technologies I Need.

Of all the technologies, I use on a daily basis, I would not want to live without the personal computer (PC) and the Internet.

The PC has revolutionized our human existence.  They give people access to more information than any previous generation.  No longer, do people have to go to a public library to research information.  It is available to them at their fingertips through the Internet and broadband communication.  People can access information from anyplace in the world.

The PC and the Internet have a major impact on education. It has become a learning tool.  They have caused a major paradigm shift in education from theories of “learning” to theories of “cognition” (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.).  With the shift in education and training, it now provides people with the level of understanding and skills to be productive contributors to the rapidly changing world of technology (Molnar, 1997).

PCs have made it so businesses can expand and compete globally.  Likewise, workers must keep up with technological changes to maintain specialized knowledge and skills to remain competitive globally (Molnar, 1997).

One insight I learned this week is a statement Dr. Thornburg made that is’ “No matter how powerful the technology is if the person using it, either as a learner or a teacher, that does not have the right mind set to use it effectively, than the only thing that changes are the power consumption and the electric bill” (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.).

Another insight I gained from Dr. Thornburg is doing things differently and doing different things.  To explain this, Dr. Thornburg gives the example of the typewriter versus a word processor. The result is the same, a printed document.  The real power is doing different things that build creativity such as podcasts, videos, and social networks (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.).

References

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (n.d.). “The Emergence of Educational Technology” (Dr. David Thornburg) [Video webcast]. Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EIDT/2001/CH/mm/ID/eidt2001_id.html

Molnar, A. (1997). Computers in education: A brief history. T.H.E. Journal, 24(11), 63–68. Retrieved June 6, 2012, from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_824309_1%26url%3D

Week 2 – Do I consider myself a Millennial Learner?

Consider your own use of technology. Would you consider yourself to have a “millennial learning style?” Do you use technology freely and with ease in most aspects of your life? Or do you begrudgingly use technology only when you are forced to? What effect, if any, has your use of technology had on the way you learn, or on your educational experiences in general?

I consider myself a millennial learner.  I work as a technical illustrator, technical writer, graphic designer and a CBT (computer-based training developer).  I have to be efficient in computer software, which includes Adobe Creative Suite, PTC Gen 21, ISODraw, and more.  The millennial learning styles center on working within a single medium (Dede, 2005).  For example, when I develop technical illustrations, I will use ISODraw.  When I develop CBT, I will use Gen 21.

I use technology freely, and with relative ease.  I will consult with my peers who I consider experts on using some of the technological tools.  There is always a faster way to do things.

Although millennial learners apply to people born 1982 and after, it can be applied to many more people who were born before 1982. Their learning is driven by the technological tools necessary to gain a successful education (Dede, 2005).  I was born in 1953, and I fit the millennial characteristics with my online learning.   I use the required technological tools that is required for my education.  I need to be computer literate, know how to navigate through the Internet,  how to research, and access information very quickly.  My online learning is semi-customized to my learning preferences.  It is not the traditional “one size fits all” as in the traditional lecture classroom.  As new technological tools emerge, they will interface with how people learn.  It is “world to the desktop” interface (Dede, 2005).  For example, virtual worlds such as Second Life are emerging. Museums and corporations use virtual worlds for education and training.  People create avatars and can access any place in the world.  They can see things they normally would not see in real life.  For example, marine biology students can swim with the sharks in the Great Barrier Reef.  Instructors can conduct an Art class on Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel.

As new technological tools emerge, they will have an effect on how learning is conducted.  I personally believe technology will eventually restructure our educational system which is outdated for many years.

Reference

Dede, C. (2005). Planning for neomillennial learning styles. Educause Quarterly, 1, 7–12.  Retrieved June 11, 2012 from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_824309_1%26url%3D.

Week 4 -Evaluating Learning Technology (There is no Week 3 Blog required)

Write a 250–350 word blog posting describing a specific learning environment (face to face, online, asynchronous, etc.) and learning outcome (desired knowledge, skills, or disposition). Provide an example of a currently available technology that would NOT be a good fit for this learning experience and explain why. What tool, either new or emerging, might be a better fit?

I work on a team developing computer based training (CBT).  The purpose of the CBT is for training to continue well beyond program handover to the customer.  The intent of CBT is to replace ILT (instructor-led-training).  If the student needs further information on a topic, there should be hyperlinks that open documentation where the student can find the desired information to further the learning experience.  For example, in order to provide an effective and efficient CBT learning experience, there should be video showing step-by-step procedures along with descriptive text and graphics showing the student how to power down the system in order to remove electronic equipment for replacement or repair. This is also true for showing the reverse order for installing the electronic equipment and powering the system back up.  However, this is not the case.

For developing the CBT we are copying the material from the PowerPoint slides of the ILT, and pasting it into the CBT modules.  There are no graphics describing how to find the information in the IETM (Interactive Electronic Technical Manual).  There are no interactive activities where the student can validate the procedures in a lab.  Some students feel alienated if they need more time to understand the lesson material (Ubell, 2003).

We use software that is about 5 years outdated.  While we are trying to build the CBT, we run into continual problems.  The server memory maxes out, and we get various error messages. This is wasting a great of company assets, and it has a significant impact on human performance of the developers.  If we are not developing the CBT the way I believe it should be done, then why not clean up the PowerPoint presentations from the ILT and use them as CBT?

When deciding on CBT software, I believe the planning and analysis phases should be completed well in advance of the design, development, implementation, and evaluation phases. From my current experience, there should be a trial period to test the software.  Testing should not be conducted during the design and development phases. This leads to ineffective and inefficient course development (Hodgins, 2003).

References

Hodgins, W. H. (2003). Learning technology standards. Encyclopedia of distributed learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Ubell, R., & Mayadas, A. F. (2003). Online learning environments. Encyclopedia of distributed learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

.